Here is a quick review of ad school presence in Facebook. Last week the Swedish trade paper Resumé (print edition, August 23) took a look at the advertising schools in (physical) Stockholm. Resumé summons their brief survey as ”Godkänt” (eng. passed, a grade which btw is void in the European Bologna process).  But they also recognized, amongst other things, that agency people (potential employers) would like to see more of training and education in ”Web production”.

My contribution on that end is primarily channeled to GI-IHR (Department of Advertising and PR at Stockholm University, not even recognized by Resumé :-) through my fat teaching experiment giicod. Furthermore, according to Resumé, the business folks also considers how well students present themselfes (portfolios), and the need of improved networking skills. Hence, the obvius task is to paraphrase use new media to prove new media (from Joseph Jaffe) and use new media to assess new media (training). In this case Stockholm’s ad schools use of a social media, i.e. Facebook (because it is currently very hype).

So, I took Resumé’s list of schools, added GI-IHR. Marknadsakademien, and MCXL (see desclaimer below), and went into Facebook looking for groups formed around those schools. You need to be logged in with a Facebook account in order to follow most links below. Note, I only used Facebook/application Groups/Search for groups (global across all networks) with the name of the school as listed below. Since to some extent the names are generic I undertook a quick glance at the groups to determine if they were related to the school in question. The time when I did the search is listed for each school. To my best knowledge (please correct me) it seems that none of the schools have officially created any groups in Facebook. Instead the groups have been formed by their stakeholders, e.g. (ex) students. Because a picture is worth more than a thousand words I remark on the group pictures. Facebook is full of question marks, but in my view nothing stands out as MCXL’s group logotype.

  • Beckmans (12:25). 1 group, using the Beckmans logotype as group picture. Member count is 118.
  • Forsbergs (12:58).  3 groups, 1 using Forsbergs logo, 1 another illustration 1 none. Member count is 97, 6, 39.
  • Hyper Island (13:05). 6 groups, 0 using the Hyper Island logo, 4 using other illustrations, and 2 no picture. Member count is 306+18+11+42+28+47.
  • Farfar+Berghs (13:35). 0 groups (although one for ”Farfar”, which presumably is related to the advertising agency cooperating with Berghs).
  • Medieskolan (13:40). 2 groups, 1 using Medieskolan’s logo. Member count is 75+8.
  • Konstfack (13:45). 3 groups. 1 using Konstfack’s logo, the other 2 uses own illustrations. Member count is 30+3+17.
  • Berghs (12:20).  9 groups. 2 are using (variants) of Berghs logotype as the group picture, 2 are using some other illustration, and the rest no picture. Member counts are 45+9+20+10+297+17+9+25+15.
  • GI-IHR (12:15).  1 group, using the stylized face of a person as group picture. Member count is 49. (Through ”Related networks” I found another IHR group, 11 members, no picture).
  • Marknadsakademien (13:50). 1 group, using an illustration. Member count is 86.
  • MCXL (14:25). 1 group with a wonderful logo! (who created that???). Member count is 57.

Some quick reflections. Berghs and Hyper Island stands out, but the latter is much younger, smaller, and focused on digital media. Also note that I have not put the numbers in relation to how big/old the schools are. Seems the ad schools have (had) no Facebook strategy. As typical in social media, the use is driven down-up. In most other cases I think that is understandable, but not when it comes to schools who are supposed to educate and train future communicators. My own giicod group was not found because at its creation I forgot to include ”GI-IHR” in the description (corrected now). Member networked quality is most likely more important than member count. But our mass media wired brains still put more value on quantitative rather than qualitative data. There is Swedish group named Marknadsföring på Facebook (Marketing in Facebook, 650 members and exploding). As of now, and presented at my account, no ad school group is listed in ”Related groups”.
[Update 2007-08-29: I missed the group Reklamsverige (Adsweden, 900+ members, exploding, and has no ad school groups related to it.]

The social medium is the message, not Facebook. I wonder if Swedish agencies that are in the process of hiring students are checking out portfolios in social media? Are students making every effort to build a digital well tagged portfolio precence in social media? ”Copy” means different things to directors of print versus mobile media. The same goes for ”networking”, where hooking up is just a click away.

Disclaimer: For around 10 years I was affiliated with Marknadsakademien. MCXL was included because I know its founder Micael Dahlén. I am currently producing and leading a course at GI-IHR and will conduct a few seminars at Berghs. Over the last 10+years I have had various minor teaching assignments at both those schools. If any other school feels left outside or gets pissed off by the focus on Stockholm I blame Resumé and my limited (free) time. Make your additions by commenting. Or be more creative and expand my experiment.